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Gibbs' Worst Moment In NCIS Season 18

Season 18 of military cop drama "NCIS," which aired between November 2020 and May 2021, marked something of a tumultuous chapter in the long-running series for a number reasons. From the outset, for example, some viewers were upset when it was announced that Season 18 would have an episode count significantly lower than that of a typical season. Then, certain fans described its first episode as disjointed and confusing upon its premiere.

Most notably, the eighteenth season of "NCIS" was the last to feature series stalwart Mark Harmon in its lead role as Leroy Jethro Gibbs. While Harmon remains a part of the fabric of "NCIS" — as a producer and potential guest star — Harmon concluded his nearly two decade-long tenure as the show's central character in the final episode of Season 18.

Given that it's Harmon's swan song, Season 18 features its fair share of memorable Gibbs moments throughout. However, Season 18 likewise includes a low point for the character that confounded some longtime "NCIS" viewers.

Gibbs loses control

In "NCIS" Season 18 Episode 10, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service team attempts to track down a serial animal abuser. During their investigation, Gibbs loses his cool and physically assaults their primary suspect before they can definitively link him to the crime. At first, Gibbs faces no legal repercussions for his actions, before ultimately landing a temporary suspension when he shows a lack of remorse.

"NCIS" fans online criticized this storyline for multiple reasons. One thread on the "NCIS" subreddit, for example, argues that, compared to some of the serially violent criminals in the series' past, it felt unlikely that an animal abuser, by comparison, would cause Gibbs to crack. Furthermore, in a Reddit discussion thread about the episode, user NoShftShck16 found not just Gibbs' unnecessary violence, but the fact he's initially held unaccountable to be "tone deaf," failing to fully take into account the severity of how his behavior mirrors instances of real-life police brutality.

With Harmon's exit from "NCIS" now a done deal, this perhaps ill-conceived storyline may well remain, in the eyes of these and other fans, a detriment to Gibbs' farewell season.